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Hampshire Business News

Hampshire Business News

30/04/12 ENSPIRE EU - Hampshire promotes entrepreneurial spirit to European counterparts

Hampshire County Council and partners have been sharing entrepreneurial expertise with counterparts from Europe as part of the £2m Interreg IVc funded, ENSPIRE EU project that aims to inspire people to set up their own business.

Economic development leaders from regional and local government organisations in Romania, Cyprus, Slovenia and Denmark came to Hampshire to find out how three programmes, that are active in the county, are encouraging and supporting individuals to become entrepreneurs.

The European visitors were able to visit and learn from leading representatives at the Prince’s Trust, Women’s Wisdom and the Hampshire School for Social Entrepreneurs, who explained the objectives of their programmes, how they operate and how they are financed.

Students from each scheme were also on hand to talk about how they came to be involved and how they have benefited from programme. The students explained how, as a result of their involvement in the programmes, they had developed personal skills in terms of confidence and developing a self-belief, as well as learned how to run a business including what is needed financially and legally.

Councillor Ray Ellis, Executive Member for Economic Development and Rural Affairs, said: “This visit demonstrates how European funding from Interreg IVc is enabling us to work with our partners in Europe to stimulate economic prosperity by encouraging an entrepreneurial spirit. In these challenging financial times, taking the first steps to setting up your own business can be more daunting than when economies are more stable, so motivating and nurturing potential entrepreneurs is crucially important.

“Economic organisations and governments across the European Union have highlighted the need to develop a strong entrepreneurial economy as being the key to Europe’s competitiveness in the world wide economy and its continued modernisation.

“By working with our partners in Europe though the ENSPIRE EU project, we can help by ensuring initiatives and policies are developed that will help to create a thriving entrepreneurial culture which will generate the self-starter businesses and employers of the future.”

ENSPIRE EU aims to find and share examples of successful projects that inspire people from disadvantaged communities to become entrepreneurs, helping to create a more entrepreneurial culture across Europe.

Within the remit of the scheme is the need to establish why Europeans are less likely to become self-employed than their peers in America and some other nationalities. The focus of the ENSPIRE EU project is to identify and develop measures that will change the situation, with a particular emphasis on young people, the long term unemployed and those who are disabled.

The visit was part of a wider programme of knowledge exchange between the 12 European Union countries that make up ENSPIRE EU. A website – www.enspire.eu – has been launched as part of this work. The site holds a database of the top 50 programmes from across Europe that actively encourage an entrepreneurial culture in disadvantaged, discouraged and disconnected communities. The three programmes visited by the European delegation were selected by them from this top 50 list.

 

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